Manama: A Jewish woman, Huda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, is set to become Bahrain's ambassador to Washington, sources close to diplomats told Gulf News on Thursday.

"Huda is Bahrain's nominee for the post and this is of course very good news for Bahrain's deep-rooted values of tolerance and openness," Faisal Fouladh, a Shura Council representative, and Western diplomats said.

Huda, a businesswoman, was the first Jewish woman to sit in the Shura Council, the 40-member upper house of the bicameral legislature, replacing her uncle. A Christian woman, Alice Samaan, also sits on the council which has 11 women, compared with only one woman MP, Lateefa Al Gaood, in the 40-member lower house.

Huda also is the first Jewish woman to head a rights organisation, the Bahrain Human Rights Watch. She is its secretary-general.